[csw-users] Blastwave in trouble?

Robert Stampfli res at colnet.cmhnet.org
Fri Nov 26 22:44:06 CET 2004

The following post has created quite a flutter of comments in
the newsgroup comp.unix.solaris.  Can someone from blastwave
comment?  What can we do to help?

From: mark.round7 at ntlworld.com
Newsgroups: comp.unix.solaris, alt.solaris.x86
Subject: Blastwave.org in trouble
Date: 25 Nov 2004 08:04:30 -0800
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I'm a maintainer at Blastwave.org - a project that should be familiar
to most people on these newsgroups. Many of you probably get your
packages from there. Sadly, Dennis Clarke, the director and admin for
the project is running into serious problems, and now it seems that the
entire project is in jeopardy.

In an email message sent today (reproduced with permission), he says :


The situation is pretty bad at the moment.
My primary business is on the brink of collapse.  My house is up for
sale.  While Sun is still talking about servers that we could get there
may be no way to fund the operation any longer.
At the moment I have dropped financially into the deep well.  There is
nothing left anymore. After more than $100K in two years there is
left to give.
Contact everone and simply let them know that Dennis has his house up
for sale and that I have poured my last bottom dollar into this
amazing project.

--End quote--

In terms of infrastructure, we have licenses and servers on the way.
But there is no way the project can continue without corporate
sponsorship or donations. The DVDs have been well received, but to date
only 30 of these get sent out each month. In order for Blastwave to
continue, and move onto the next level, around 1000 need to be shipped.
Dennis has thrown everything he has into this project in order to
provide a fantastic resource for all Solaris users. I'm just a
maintainer, but from what I can see, and from what I hear, we have
succeeded in these aims; but right now Dennis is having to sell his
house and is still making every effort to find some source of
investment for Blastwave.

And yet no one seems to be listening - we have no official corporate
sponsorship despite the best efforts of a number of individuals. Pretty
much every other major open source project around has corporate
sponsorship or donations coming in - but for 2 years, the person
footing the bills, working 60 hour weeks and doing all the legwork has
been Dennis.

This means there will be a freeze on package activity, a December
edition of the DVD - and then it's all up in the air. On a personal
level, I feel that this project is too succesful and important to the
Solaris community to let it die - we're Solaris users producing
packages _for_ Solaris users. I know that being a maintainer, I have a
vested interest in seeing the project succeed. However, it's as a
Solaris sysadmin, fan and user, that I will miss Blastwave the most.

Using pkg-get and the huge repository of prepackaged software is what
makes Solaris really comfortable for me, and is the first thing I point
out to Linux admins "making the switch". We've supported Solaris x86
right from the start, we have full distros of KDE and GNOME, a grand
total of 833 packages across 2 architectures (with AMD support on the
way), and yet on the eve of Solaris 10 reaching FCS, we're struggling
to stay afloat.

And so, hence this post. Dennis asked me to spread the word to anyone
who will listen. If you have ever used the packages from Blastwave.org,
please help spread the message, post it on a blog, buy a DVD, make a
donation - anything... Or the project will not be around for much

mark at blastwave.org

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